The Official Newspaper for Foster County

Obituary: Darlene Daugherty

Darlene Daugherty

Darlene Audrey Daugherty, 86, died peacefully on October 22, 2023, in New Rockford, N.D., surrounded by her four children.

Darlene's visitation was Wednesday, October 25, 2023, from 3:00-7:00 p.m., with a Rosary Service at 6:45 p.m., followed by a Vigil Service at 7:00 p.m., all at Evans Funeral Home, New Rockford.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held Thursday, October 26, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. at St. John's Catholic Church, New Rockford, with Fr. Bernard Pfau and Fr. Reese Weber officiating. Tom Hanson was organist and Hallie Brown was vocalist. Her burial was at the St. John's Catholic Cemetery, New Rockford.

Pallbearers were Robert Cartlidge, Jesse Erickson, Joel Erickson, Will Douglas, Andrew Schaefer, Jack Schaefer and Benjamin Schaefer.

Darlene was born December 13, 1936, to John and Bernice (Bjugstad) Kruger in rural Sheyenne, N.D. During her childhood years, the Kruger family farmhouse lacked electricity and indoor plumbing. She attended elementary school at the Plainview School No. 3, a one-room country school. The Kruger family moved into Sheyenne in 1947.

Darlene graduated from Sheyenne High School in 1954, where she was a cheerleader and class valedictorian. One of her high school teachers, who taught in New Rockford and Sheyenne for more than a couple of decades, once remarked that Darlene was the best student she ever taught.

Darlene attended Mayville State College for one year, obtaining her teaching certificate, and then taught in the Superior Township country school south of New Rockford from 1955-1957.

Darlene married James William (Bill) Schaefer on June 15, 1957. Darlene and Bill had six children: Greg, Brad, Monty, Doug, Joan, and Sue and farmed and raised cattle in Wells, Eddy, and Foster counties for the next 14 years until Bill died from Hodgkin's on their 14th anniversary.

Darlene married Tollef (Tolley) Skaar on November 3, 1973. Darlene and Tolley continued their farming and cattle operation until Tolley's death on April 19, 1982.

Darlene married Elder Daugherty on March 8, 1986. Elder died on December 28, 2002. Darlene was fortunate to have as her life partners three such gentle, kind, decent, and thoughtful men, even though the world took each of them from her too early and too young.

Darlene was a remarkable, highly intelligent, determined, and resilient woman. She was an indefatigable worker and partner of her three husbands in the running of their farm and home. She was a loving and fiercely protective mother. As a former teacher herself, Darlene cared deeply about education; she set high standards for her kids, pushing and encouraging them to work hard to achieve their potential in their varied educational paths.

Darlene was a gifted pianist and talented organist, inheriting her love of music and the piano from her mother. She had perfect pitch. All of her kids remember practicing piano while from another room came Mom's voice when she was doing 13 other things, while still listening to ensure the kids kept on task – "f sharp," or "b flat" (or whatever the corrective measure called for at the moment). With her natural ability and many years of diligent practice, Darlene achieved technical mastery of the piano, working up Rachmaninoff's transcription of Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Flight of the Bumblebee" as a competition piece.

She was the organist at St. Joseph's Catholic Church in Bremen, N.D., for 51 years from 1957 to 2008, and also played the organ for countless marriages and funerals.

Darlene was a master of all manner of domestic arts. She was a terrific home cook, a consummate baker, a prolific canner, a master gardener, an expert seamstress, and enjoyed quilting and Hardanger. Darlene and Bill, and later Darlene and Tolley, hosted countless Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas holiday get-togethers for the extended Schaefer, Kruger, and Skaar families.

Darlene's quilts adorn the beds of her kids and grandkids and her Hardanger masterworks the walls of her home and those of her kids. Darlene sewed bridesmaid dresses, many of her own clothes as well as clothes for her kids, not to mention patching countless pairs of jeans and shirts her kids and grandkids could not be persuaded to part with. Just this past summer, Darlene acquired a new Pfaff "Smarter" sewing machine, although she would be quick to say that it's not the "smart" machine that matters as much as the know-how and "smarts" of the person sewing.

For decades her family looked forward with great anticipation to the oyster stew, the lefse, and the "goo balls" awaiting them when they returned home to celebrate family Christmas holidays. All of her kids' college dormmates anxiously awaited mail deliveries arriving in boxes from New Rockford, relieved they could feast on Darlene's fabulous monster cookies and other baked treats rather than having to subsist on the pedestrian meals at the college dorm cafeterias for as long as the cookies lasted (not long!).

Darlene and Bill enjoyed many winter nights playing whist with their farm neighbors and St. Joseph's Church circle members. Darlene and Tolley, and later Darlene and Elder, enjoyed playing whist and pinochle with friends. Darlene developed a life-long love of Scrabble from her mother, which she played throughout her life, including weekly games in recent years. Over the decades, many a holiday night ended with the family around the kitchen or dining room table playing "May I" into the wee hours.

Darlene was a devoted fan of the NR-S Rocket football and basketball teams when grandsons Andrew, Jack, and Benjamin Schaefer were playing in the past decade and a half. She enjoyed traveling with Bill and Tolley, and occasionally with her siblings and her kids, in the United States, Canada, and Europe.

Darlene was a dear sister to her five siblings, a cherished sister-in-law to Bill's, Tolley's, and Elder's siblings, a fondly regarded aunt to dozens of her nieces and nephews, and a devoted friend to the members of her sewing club, Red Hats club, and birthday clubs as well as to friends from high school and college, her church, and local communities. Her close friends, her sisters, and many of her in-laws valued her as a trusted confidant always available to listen and provide wise counsel.

Darlene was a pillar of St. Joseph's and St. John's Catholic churches in Bremen and New Rockford for six and a half decades. Darlene's faith was an anchor in her life, and her trip to Rome, to visit the Vatican, was one of her meaningful life trips.

Darlene is survived by sons, Greg (Teresa Erickson) Schaefer, Minneapolis, Minn., Brad (Leslie) Schaefer, Grand Junction, Colo., Monty (Tori) Schaefer, New Rockford, and daughter Susan (Tim) Hanson, Fargo, N.D.; grandsons, Rob Cartlidge, Grand Junction, Jesse (Melissa) Erickson and Joel (Lauren) Erickson, all of Minneapolis, Andrew (Kara) Schaefer and Benjamin Schaefer, all of New Rockford, and Jack Schaefer, Madison, Wis.; granddaughter, Alexis (Will) Douglas, Aberdeen, S.D.; great grandsons, Rex and Owen Erickson, both of Minneapolis; great-granddaughters, Everly Erickson, Minneapolis, and Avy and Esly Schaefer, both of New Rockford; sisters Marian Lewis and Shirley Westby, both of New Rockford, Maxine Olson, Crystal, Minn., and brother Stanley (Marilyn) Kruger, Sheyenne; sisters-in-law LeNore (Del) Rood, Sturgis, Mich., Inez Pendergrast, Westminster, Colo., and Rhoda Stenberg, Sheyenne, and brothers-in-law Jerry Ronningen, Cooperstown, N.D., and Carl Daugherty, Sheyenne; and dozens of nieces and nephews.

Darlene was preceded in death by her parents; her three husbands; her daughter Joan Schaefer; her son Doug Schaefer; her sister Fern Georgeson; and 16 brothers-in-law, 13 sisters-in-law as well as many nieces and nephews.

Darlene's family extends their appreciation to the nursing and hospice staff at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd in New Rockford, where she spent her last few weeks, for their kind care, compassion, and gentle treatment as well as to the staffs at Fargo St. Luke's/MeritCare/Sanford, Carrington CHI St. Alexius Hospital, and Bismarck CHI St. Alexius Hospital for her excellent medical care and treatment over the past 25 years.

Donations/memorials are preferred to St. Jude's Children's Hospital, The Shriner's Hospital for Children or St. John's Catholic Church.

Arrangements by Evans Funeral Home, Carrington and New Rockford, N.D.